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Andrea Diamond
A graduate student in Wisconsin who enjoys traveling via plane, train, or pages of a book.

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Ten Patriotic Reads for Memorial Day

By Andrea Diamond. May 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

For many in the U.S., Memorial Day is the calendar date that marks the beginning of sweet summertime. Students become restless at their desks, pontoon boats are pulled out of winter storage, and Dads across the Midwest poke their head outside and casually suggest “throwing something on the grill" for dinner. In the midst of sunny afternoons spent living the American Dream, it is easy to forget that our freedom has never been free. Memorial Day is a time to honor those fallen in service to our country.

Unless one has served in the military, it can be difficult to equate those who've served and especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice with real people. Both fiction and non-fiction accounts of war have the power to put a name and a face with the often anonymous heroes of our past and present. Should you find yourself with an opportunity to sit outside with a good book this Memorial Day, we would suggest one of these ten patriotic titles:

     
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Valentine's Day for Cynics: The 10 Worst Couples in Literature

By Andrea Diamond. Feb 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Children's Books

For many people, Valentine's Day is a holiday filled with roses, romance, and affection. Giant teddy bears show up on people’s doorsteps, flower delivery services are swamped, and getting a reservation for two at a nice restaurant is nearly impossible. However, for us singletons and cynics, Valentine’s Day often causes more of a dull nausea in our stomachs than the sensation of little butterflies fluttering about. So if you, like me, take a Grinch-like approach to this fluffy pink holiday, I hope you find some solace reading about 10 of the worst couples in literature.

     
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Ten Books to Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By Andrea Diamond. Jan 15, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

In the United States on the third Monday of every January, we have the opportunity to come together as a nation and celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. In the midst of the chaos and oppression that accompanied the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. rose above hate and violence to guide a broken nation toward a future where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” As our country once again navigates divisiveness, we are faced with two choices: to be silent, or to lean into the discomfort and work for change. To celebrate this important holiday and find inspiration for continuing King’s work, consider these ten books.

     
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The Ten Best Literary Christmas Quotes

By Andrea Diamond. Dec 25, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Charles Dickens

After weeks of preparation and anticipation, Christmas has finally arrived. As you spend time with loved ones, admire the holiday tree, and reflect on what matters most, we hope you’ll find a quiet moment to enjoy these festive book excerpts. From Dr. Seuss to Charles Dickens, here are ten of the best literary Christmas quotes.

     
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How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday

By Andrea Diamond. Nov 23, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

We’re all familiar with the old Thanksgiving narrative in the United States. The Mayflower came rolling into Plymouth Harbor in 1620, the Pilgrims tried to build a life for themselves (and weren’t doing a great job), and the Wampanoag tribe came to the pilgrims’ aid and taught them how to plant corn, fish, and hunt. This ultimately led to a beautiful friendship, which was celebrated with a community feast of gratitudea tradition continued to this day. Right?

Wrong.

     
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A Reading Guide to Kazuo Ishiguro

By Andrea Diamond. Nov 16, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.” ~ Kazuo Ishiguro

It is not uncommon, late at night, to be struck with that taunting “what if” question. We wonder how things might have been different had we chosen a different school, taken a different job, or married a different person? What if we lived in the future, or had existed in the past? These thoughts don’t necessarily come out of discontent, even the happiest person on earth must poses some curiosity toward how their life might have been different. While many of us eventually shake off our alternate reality musings and drift off to sleep, the authors in the world cling to those possibilities, and create a new character with a unique life between the covers of a book. One author who has honed this incredible gift is the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Kazio Ishiguro.

     
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A Reading Guide to Anne Tyler

By Andrea Diamond. Oct 25, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, Literature

During one of the many family studies courses I took in college, I was introduced to the concept of Dialectic Thinking. Dialectic Thinking describes one’s desire for two conflicting values, such as being connected to others while also having personal space, or seeking familiarity while also craving change. As a young college student, hungry for every good thing the world had to offer, this little piece of vocabulary always stuck with me. It seems so much of life requires choosing one thing over another, because some things simply cannot exist in unison. Sharing my passion for conflict, Minneapolis-born author Anne Tyler uses Dialectic Thinking to create complex, engaging, and relatable characters.

     
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Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald: Behind the Scenes

By Andrea Diamond. Sep 23, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Lean back, close your eyes, and imagine an evening in Paris in the 1920s. Jazz music curls around every street corner, streetlights glimmer, and champagne flows like a river. The sound of laughter and dancing fill the air as parties grow more gregarious, and the socialite scene comes to life. Among the throngs of people immersed in the frivolity, you are likely to find a brash southern woman, and her charming husband, regaling those around them with details of their latest creative endeavors.

     
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A Brief Introduction to Frédéric Mistral

By Andrea Diamond. Sep 8, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners

In 1830, in the small town of Maillane, France, Frédéric Mistral was born to François Mistral and Adelaide Poulinet. His parents were wealthy, which afforded Frédéric the opportunity to receive a great education (though he was known for playing hooky as a child). After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, Mistral went on to study law until 1851. While Mistral was passionate about this field, his true gift was more literary. Greatly inspired by one of his teachers, Joseph Roumanille, Mistral became a masterful poet. 

     
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A Brief Introduction to the Works of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

By Andrea Diamond. Aug 8, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

A few days ago as my family was unloading groceries in the kitchen, some movement along the edge of the tree line caught our eyes. To our delight, we spotted the first fawn of the season, wobbling close to her mother in the dappled sunlight of our backyard. After a few minutes of awed observation, we saw the doe take off, and the fawn curl up behind a tree just off the side of our house. It is not uncommon for mothers to leave their newborn fawns unattended for hours at a time, as fawns do not yet carry a scent that can be picked up by a predator’s nose. After snapping a few pictures at a safe distance from the baby, we left her in peace in her hiding spot. My mind also wandered to a well-known young adult book about a boy and a fawn.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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